The particular form of paradoxical pluralism that came to dominate a U.S. mission ethos in the 19th century Middle East has been understudied, both relative to the specific roles and influences of mission schools and hospitals, as well as with regard to how this history influences national identity and more contemporary human rights questions. By focusing on a small subset of transnational religious actors and their collective relationship to practices of rule, reform and religion this research will explore in postcolonial perspective the ways in which particular religious identities aligned with national interests led to the creation and destruction of unique 'ethos islands.'
Bio: Joel is a graduate of Davidson College and Yale University. He has extensive experience with the United Nations system and was previously Director of the Presbyterian UN Office in New York. He has worked in the fields of advocacy, human rights, and ethics with a variety of intergovernmental, NGO, and healthcare organizations. Joel is also especially interested in questions of aesthetics, creative practice, and the environment.